Islamophobia – Deepa Kumar replies to critics

Deepa KumarIn February, in response to the Danish cartoons crisis, Deepa Kumar published an excellent critique of the way in which a section of left and liberal opinion in the US had “accepted and internalized right-wing arguments like Samuel Huntington’s ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis which sees the West as a force for enlightenment and the East as barbaric”.

MRZine, 21 February 2006

She has just published “Fighting Islamophobia: A Response to Critics” in which she writes:

“I have received dozens of emails supportive of my argument that racism has no place on the left. Additionally, comments on the article posted on MRZine show that there are people willing to stand up against anti-Muslim bigotry. However, what is deeply troubling is that the majority of comments, presumably from progressives, are hostile to Islam and to Muslims.

“In what follows, I respond to these comments for reasons that should be obvious to any person of conscience: the wholesale demonization of Arabs and Muslims is racist and unacceptable, it serves to bolster US foreign policy goals in the Middle East, and giving even an inch to Islamophobia divides us and weakens our ability to build an effective opposition to the war in Iraq and the potential war on Iran.”

MRZine, 3 April 2006